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US planning invasion of Venezuela, Bolivian president warns

Bolivian President Evo Morales warned on Sunday that the United States is planning a military invasion of Venezuela to defeat the Bolivarian revolution.

He accused Washington of colluding with the Organisation of American States (OAS) in a plot to destabilise Venezuela with the aim of overthrowing Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government.

“Before the elections, they will carry out violent actions supported by the media and, after the elections, they will try a military invasion with armed forces from neighbouring countries,” Mr Morales said.

US troops have been gathering in neighbouring Colombia, which Mr Morales warned could be used as a base for a ground invasion. Speaking in February, he said: “Any imperialist military threat against peace in sister Venezuela and our region will be thwarted by the dignity, sovereignty and unity of our democratic peoples.”

Last week, US Vice-President Mike Pence demanded that the OAS suspend Venezuela from membership and called for the country’s forthcoming elections to be abandoned amid accusations of fraud and corruption.

This followed a similar call from the European Union as international neoliberal forces act to crush the socialist revolution set in motion in 1998, when Hugo Chavez, Mr Maduro’s predecessor, was first elected to the presidency.

With Venezuelans going to the polls in presidential and state legislative council elections this Sunday, Mr Morales said: “The empire acts out of fear of the sovereign vote and knows that it will never again subject the free people.”

The latest round of elections will be the 24th held in Venezuela in the last 19 years. However, opposition groups, along with the US and EU, have suggested that they will not recognise the outcome.

Despite all the attempts to derail Mr Maduro’s government, including a failed coup attempt, he remains ahead in opinion polls.

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